The weather conditions :
The weather during the winter was calm without frost damage resulting in an early butspring towards the 24th of March.
The month of April was cold and humid and did not allow the vinyard to keep its advance in its vegetive cycle.
Mai was nice and warm favorising the growth and development of the green shoots.
The moment of complete flowering happened before mid-June, with local spots of millerandange.
Toward the end of June new perturbations occured to finally leave place to a heat-wave resulting in a fast fruitset.
The nouaison was fragilised by succesive rain-storms. This disturbed period finished off the 2nd of August with a severe but local hailstorm devestating vinyards in Volnay, Pommard, Meursault and Bouzeron(The other villages did not receive any hail).
August was windy and sunny allowing good healing of the vines. The veraison took place from mid-Agust under fairly good conditions eventhough the vintage could have used a bit more sun and despite the sunny weather from the harvest period.
The Ban de Vendanges in the Côte de Beaune : 17 September
Beginning of the harvest within Olivier Leflaive : 20 September (Pinot Noir)
22 September (Chardonnay)
End of the harvest Côte de Beaune 29th of September
Beginning of the harvest Chablis 3 October
End of the harvest Chablis 11 October
The quality of the harvest :
In Pinot Noir the quality of the grapes appeared to be very irregular. The weather conditions from July/August (hail) and September (rain) caused a delay in the maturation in some specific appellations. For this reason we have delayed picking dates with again a drastic and meticullous sorting of the grapes. Without being exceptionnal generous the Pinot Noir 2001 does have a nice color and a good quality of the fruit.
The acidity of today with a high level of malic-acid needs to be absorbed and transformed into lactic acid and with an adapted and qualified care during maturation the hand of the winemaker should be noticable.
The Chardonnay in the Côte de Beaune area has been most resistant to the climatical aleas of this vinatge 2001. The much lower yield in this vintage compared to the previous ones (1999 and 2000) allowed a good maturation and a nearly-pertfect sanitary health.
The wines offer beautifull aromas sharpened by a solid acidity (especially malic acid which will ferment into lactic acid). The richness is there and the balance looks very interesting. Not as concentrated as the 2000 vintage but probably in the line of the 1997 vintage with a slightly better acidity.
The Chardonnay in Chablis happened to be irregular in its maturity and disturbed by the rainfall of the first two weeks of September. This also depended on the yield coming from the different vinyards. Many origins were harvested by our own pickers and offered good to some excellent natural sugar levels. The general balance of the wines after malo-lactic fermentation will be satisfactory.